Morrison Keith Leavell

Lifelong Dolores area resident Morrison Keith Leavell passed away at Vista Grande Inn in Cortez on Sunday, May 20, 2012. He was 77.

Known to his friends as “Shag,” he was born to Albert “Paddy” and Bernice Leavell on Feb. 27, 1935 in Dolores. He was one of three children.

Keith attended 1st through 12th grades at Dolores School and was very active in high school sports with basketball and football.

Keith’s real passion in life was livestock, particularly horses and cattle. As a boy, he and his brother Kay would spend weekends and summers working with their aunt and uncle, Dwight and Gladys Morrison on their ranches and cow camps.

After high school Keith also worked in the logging and sawmilling business for the Millard Bros. at the pump pasture and hay camp.

In the mid-50’s Keith attended Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo., but was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1957. He was stationed in Germany with the 34th Armor Div. for the remainder of his term.

After being discharged in 1959, he returned to the Dolores area and began working for the Albert Garbareno ranch in the Glade and Cedar areas.

Shortly after he met and married Betty Lou Fernandez of Honolulu, Hawai’i, they then moved to Honolulu where he worked construction for Betty’s uncle. The couple bore a son, Albert Scott, in 1963. They soon returned back to the Dolores area and the marriage ended in divorce.

In the mid-60’s Keith worked construction for Mountain Gravel at many jobs in the area, but ranching was still in his blood. He hired on with his cousin Vance McCabe and worked for him for several years.

In the mid-70’s he met and married his second wife, Betty Hudson, and moved to Sunflower, Ariz. where they operated the Sunflower Cafe and Bar.

After two years in Arizona, the couple moved back to Dolores and Keith went to work for Don Majors Cattle, and stayed on until his retirement in about 1993 due to poor health. He continued to live at the Leavell home in Dolores until his health worsened in January 2012.

Keith spent his last four months at Vista Grande Inn in Cortez before his passing.

Keith is survived by a brother, Michael “Sid” Leavell of Durango; a son, Albert Scott Weinmaster of Dolores; three nieces; and by numerous grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

He requested no services.

Cremation has occurred; his ashes will be spread at a later time this year.